How much does probate cost?
We do not believe that the legal costs of a probate solicitor should be a source of uncertainty, especially when managing someone’s estate after they’ve died. Being an executor or a personal representative of an estate can be a stressful and complex process, especially if you are dealing with grief. There are many unknowns that you may face but we do not believe that your legal costs should be one of them.
That is why we have created our probate fee calculator for a straightforward and simple estate. It’s designed to give you an honest and transparent view of your potential legal costs so you can instruct us in confidence and focus on things that you need to.
More complex estates may require more hours and therefore are subject to greater costs. These can range from:
£12,000 ex VAT to £25,000 ex VAT for medium complexity
£25,000 ex VAT + for higher levels of complexity
If you are unsure abut the level of complexity involved, please get in touch and we will be happy to have a free, no obligation discussion with you.
Results are an estimate only and are subject to assessment by a member of the Royds Withy King team.
Who will be managing my estate administration?
We have offices across England and if you do choose Royds Withy King to carry out your estate administration, we will make sure that your legal contact is in a location that is convenient for you. We have a number of regional heads who will either be responsible for or supervising your probate. You can see the team of Partners here.
Edward Vidnes, Partner
Ed specialises in Wills, estate planning and Lasting Powers of Attorney as well as elderly and incapacity issues such as Deputyships and Personal Injury Trust matters.view profile
Deanna Hurst, Partner
Deanna is a partner in our probate team with a wide range of expertise. She acts for individuals, families and charities and enjoys building lasting relationships with her clients.view profile
Tony Millson, Partner
Tony is a partner in our team in London. He has over 40 years of experience, often advising successive generations.view profile
Tom Gilman, Partner
Tom is the partner who heads up our Private Client team in Oxford. The legal directories praise him for being “astute and approachable”, “capable and diplomatic”.view profile
James McNeile, Partner
James is a partner with over 20 years experience of UK and international private client work, especially relating to estate planning and trusts.view profile
How long does it take?
The estimator assumes that the deceased’s death has been registered with the Registrar, death certificate obtained and funeral arranged already. If help is needed with this we can advise, and where appropriate arrange, but there may be additional costs associated with that.
On average, estates that fall into the category whereby our estimator can be used to provide a quote are usually dealt with within 6 to 12 months, however to add slightly more context to this, the various stages and time frames would be in the region of the following:-
- Registration of death and obtaining valuations of the assets of the deceased, together with completion of the relevant Inheritance Tax return and drafting of specific oaths for the personal representative/executor to swear – 2 to 4 months
- payment of Inheritance Tax (if applicable) and return of receipt of payment of the Inheritance Tax from HMRC – 1 month
- applying for and obtaining the Grant of Probate – 2 to 4 weeks
- upon receipt of the Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration, encashing the assets – 1 to 2 months (plus, if for example a house needed to be sold)
- once all monies are received distribution of the assets with full estate accounts provided – 2 to 4 weeks.
Are there any additional costs with estate administration work?
There may be a number of additional costs, these are commonly referred to as disbursements. The probate fee estimator does not include disbursements in its calculations. VAT is charged on most disbursements, but not on court fees.
Common disbursements would be:
- Probate Court fee – £155, with a cost of 50p for any additional copies of the grant
- £5 per personal representative/£7 per proving executor on swearing of the oath (we can advise what this means)
- bankruptcy searches (against deceased and beneficiaries) £2 per individual searched
- notices in the London Gazette and paper local to where the deceased died to protect the executors/personal representatives – we can advise on this, and the costs associated.
What are the hourly rates?
The rate you will be charged will depend on the location, the seniority, as well as the urgency of your legal work. The table below indicates the different pricing points for these criteria.
|Role||Standard regional rate||Standard London rate|
What services are included in the price?
We believe that we should be clear and open with you when it comes to the work that our probate services include. It goes without saying that our legal services include everything that the majority of cases needs to move an estate through probate, successfully and efficiently. However, please see below for a comprehensive list on what is included in our probate services.
- Initial client meeting
- file opening etc
- engagement letter/letters to executors
- sort papers and check Will for any problems or advise on intestacy if no will
- register death with asset/liability holder to obtain valuations
- letters to beneficiaries/legatees seeking confirmation of identity
- draft IHT400/IHT205/IHT217 and oath for Executors/personal representatives
- apply online for IHT reference – if needed
- client meeting (swearing papers)
- paying Inheritance Tax if due
- apply for the grant of representation (probate or letters of administration)
- grant received
- completion of forms to encash assets
- letters to asset holders (with grant)
- receive assets into the estate
- bankruptcy searches, pay legacies, liabilities and expenses
- bankruptcy searches/payments on account to beneficiaries
- completion of tax affairs/IHT clearance
- preparation of estate accounts
- letters to executors for approval of accounts
- letters to beneficiaries for approval of accounts
- calculation of amounts due to beneficiaries/bankruptcy searches
- completion of R185s if appropriate
- snr partner liason time.
Services not automatically included
The following services are not included as standard in our probate work.
- The personal tax return (Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax etc.) of the deceased for the period from the end of the tax year to the date of death, and during the administration of the estate.
- The sale of or transfer of title to any property contained within the estate to a beneficiary.